Commercial Loans Blog

Why Commercial Construction Loans Are So Difficult to Get

Posted by George Blackburne on Sun, Jun 12, 2011

Very few commercial construction loans are being made these commercial constructiondays.  I always figured that it was because the banks were just too darned scared to make new commercial construction loans.  After all, commercial real estate has fallen by 40%, and many commercial banks have suffered immense losses on commercial construction lending.

But not every company in America is losing money.  There are a great many companies tied to agriculture here in the Midwest that are making money hand over fist.  Why aren't they expanding their manufacturing facilities?

A developer buddy explained the problem to me.  A great many companies have enough dough to cover 20% of the construction cost of their new buildings.  Since these companies are also making money, the bank even tentatively approves their commercial construction loan - subject to the appraisal and other third party reports.

The vast majority of new commercial construction loan applications are falling out at the appraisal stage.  Many, if not most, commercial real estate appraisals are coming in at less than 75% of the actual construction cost. 

In order to be financially feasible, a new project should be worth 15% to 20% more than the cost of construction.  That difference is the developer's profit.

The Profit Ratio is the anticipated profit divided by the total cost to build the new building.  Bankers typically require this ratio to be at least 15% to 20%.  If the potential profit is too small, the developer will have little incentive to complete the project if he runs into any sort of cost overrun.  The last thing a bank needs is another half-completed project.

Modernly, not only are banks finding that the deals have no profit in them, but - even worse - the projects are worth, upon completion,  less than 75% of their construction cost.  Not surprisingly, you will see very few commercial construction loans getting funded.

There are still a few commercial banks willing to make new commercial construction loans.  You can submit your commercial loan to 750 hungry commercial lenders using


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Topics: commercial construction loans